Thursday, 22 December 2011

Thrifty Thursday ~ Festive Carrot Soup with Sesame Stars

Kitchen Play List: Dean Martin ~ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
                                     Nat King Cole ~ Frosty the Snowman
                                     Peggy Lee ~ Santa Claus is Coming to Town
                                     The Scaffold ~ Lily The Pink
                                     Bobby Helms ~ Jingle Bell Rock
                                     Alma Coogan ~ Never Do a Tango with...
                                     Mr.Crosby/Mr.Bowie ~ Little Drummer Boy

I first made this soup two..well maybe three years ago (where does the time go?) as the starter course for our Friends' Christmas Gathering. And it went down a storm apart for the one pal who didn't like sesame seeds. But in my defense and hers..we hadn't communicated this fact. lol. It comes from Rose Elliot's festive cookbook Vegetarian Christmas: Essential Vegetarian Collection.

I had to veganise it but it really wasn't rocket science. I also adapted the recipe from the off instead of making it as suggested by Mrs. Elliot. In the cook book it's called Cream of Carrot Soup but I am not the biggest fan of creamy soups. So I simply just left the cream out. I don't mind if they are naturally creamy and smooth due to the veggies used but don't like adding extra creams or milks. I also left out the squeeze of lemon juice too. And when it came to the croutons..and if I'm honest they were the real reason I first tried this didn't want to use the full 4 tbsp of marg to coat them so reduced it to 1 tsp and thinly scraped margarine onto each crouton..just enough to get the seeds to stick. And they baked and toasted just fine. 

This soup is very tasty, cheap to make and beautiful in colour. We eat it as a lunch during the festive period and it's a refreshing break from all the rich foods on offer. Served in small bowls with a single crouton as a starter it's very enjoyable and a crowd pleaser as it's not heavy on the tum. Served in a regular bowl with a few croutons this soup is a satisfying lunch. It's impressive while costing hardly anything to make which is why I chose it as my Festive Thrifty Thursday Recipe. There really isn't a wrong time to serve this 

I've made the croutons without the sesame seeds and they're very tasty too. The soup is naturally GF and if you are Gluten Free using GF bread would work just as well. But I don't add my croutons until the soup is served and I let my guests float them for themselves. Especially after the first serving of this...I try and learn from my mistakes really! lol. 

Costings for this soup come at the end of the recipe as usual. And thank you to Rose Elliot for a lovely recipe. 

Festive Carrot Soup with Sesame Star Croutons
Festive Carrot Soup with Sesame Star Croutons Serves 4-6
(Recipe from Vegetarian Christmas/Elliot)

1 tbsp vegan margarine 
1 tbsp rapeseed oil or oil of choice
700g/1.5lb carrots, sliced
225g/8oz/1 3/4 cups potato diced
1.5 litres/2.5 pints/6 1/4 cups water
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
grated nutmeg

4 tbsp sesame seeds
6 slices of bread of your choice
1 tsp vegan margarine

First make the sesame stars, which can be done in advance and kept in a tin for a few days. Set the oven to 150'C/300'F/Gas Mark 1. Sprinkle a plate with half of the sesame seeds. Cut out the star shapes by hand or with a star shaped cookie cutter, then spread margarine on both sides of the stars and then press them lightly onto the seeds to coat both sides. Place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven until golden brown and crisp. Approx 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

In a soup pan heat the oil and margarine and then saute the onion for 5 minutes until softened but do not brown. Add the carrots and potatoes and stir well to coat and then cook for 10 minutes until softened. Do not allow to brown. Then add the water and stir well. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for approx 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Then using a hand blender blitz until smooth. Serve hot with sesame croutons on the side. 


Thrifty Thursday Recipe

Sea salt
Black pepper
Sesame Seeds

Per person

Not shabby for a beautiful starter, lunch etc over the festive period or anytime of the year! 

If you try it...let me know how you get on? Happy to hear from you...

Save those pennies folks!